Face Painting for Bewilderwood @ Royal Norfolk Show

I first began face painting ‘in public’ at huge events like the Suffolk Show, when I was Education Officer for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust (after I left the zoo). When I became a free-lance full-time face painter, I painted for various organisations attending these events, such as the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and even (GASP) went as a member Of the public for the 1st time. (Usually I’d  just get to dash around some of the stalls on my breaks in full fairy outfit).

Cat painting royal norfolk show

The Royal Norfolk Show is the largest (and one of the oldest?) 2-day agricultural shows in the UK. Bewilderwood decided to go for the 1st time in 2010, after myself and many others had said how well they would suit it and how many local attraction did go. That year we were in a rather randomn spot, but they built an open-topped square site that won some awards.

 Norfolk Show Bewilderwood face me n Fin Norfolk Show Bewilderwood stand my set up wide Norfolk Show Bewilderwood stand my set up

This year we had 2 square marquees up in the school section. I’m paranoid about being late for bookings and both days arrived extremely early, setting up before the rest of the Twiggles arrived.

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The second day, everyone else was very late…they car-shared so I assumed they’d be there soon. I’d finished my set up, but still no sign of any more staff though some of the other stalls were starting to open (this was still very early and the show was still quiet).

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I decided to start setting up the craft tables in our tent, and as I was dishing out crayons and righting the child-sized chairs, noticed movement in the back of our marquee. At first I thought it was someone on our team creeping up on me but finally I managed to catch 1 baby pet bunny (the rest scarpered)!

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At that point a bowler-hatted steward arrived (seemingly un-fazed by a facepainted elf clutching a live rabbit) to ask if I was ready to lead the story-telling onstage in the kids area. Errr…? I might have managed the regular show alone as I heard that daily, but I knew Sheila planned a special thing for this event.  Panicked phonecalls from me started….It turned out there had been multiple RTA’s and the resulting jams, along with the usual RN Show extra traffic, had gridlocked half the county.

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LUCKILY they arrived just in time, so some set off to storytell whilst other finished opening up the marquee, leaving me to quickly trawl the show looking for missing rabbit owners – turned out it was a farm-park stall a few rows away who said this batch of rabbits were the best escapologists he’d ever had.

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Coming out of the woods – Face painting for Bewilderwood at Public Events

I’m lucky to have regular bookings at Bewilderwood, and I do adore it there, under the leaves, with the lovely staff and pretty surroundings. But occasionally we Twiggles do leave the trees!

Game Fair big top

Ros & Sheila have been developing a ‘Bewilderwood Experience’ for younger kids which can be based in a marquee, and have been taking it out to events. So far I have been included at the Game & Country Fair on the Norfolk Showground, MayDays (on Chapelfield Gardens as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Art Festival) and the Royal Norfolk Show.

May Daze Bww flower face lady cc

As usual Bewilderwood’s colourful, fun, musical tent with crafts pulled in crowds, and I was busy face painting for them. As at the park, all face paint profits went to charity; this year they have decided it will all go to Autism Anglia whom they have close links with and keep spaces for on their stands.

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For a small charity fee, kids can race round the multi-sensory ‘Bewilderwood Story’ and then take part in all sorts of crafts, storytelling  etc or simply interact with the lovely staff.

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What I like is that I tend to be allowed to stray from stricly Bewilderwood themes and get in the occasional tiger, etc – they are not allowed at the park as they terrify the Boggles!

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Face painting at Bewilderwood Begins Again

 Spring 2011

Wow, a total change from Hong Kong! My second season at Bewilderwood starting….

From high rises and smog to high trees and bird song. Sadly I don’t think my wee robin pal from last year survive the winter; they are territorial and stay in their own areas, but though he used to hop round my table every day, hasn’t shown up this year 😦

April bewilderwood platform

The Boggle Builders built me a temporary platform in ‘my’ corner which is lovely, as I used to get my chair / table wibbling a lot on the woodland floor before. And they screwed in a big parasol thing as its so early in the season, the leaves aren’t out enough to shelter me from sun let alone rain! They also added 2 walls as a windbreak in May, much needed but typically the wind switched directions and is blowing IN now, ah well:) Is all fab!

April bewilderwood platform umbrella

Plus the lovely Jennie who I met when I was back briefly on holiday for HK, and taught how to do rainbow buterflies, came along to ‘learn’ Bewilderwood style face paints so she can be my cover on my days off etc.

Jenns 1st Bewilderwood day me morning teaJenns 1st Bewilderwood day  setting upCat paints bewilderwood

Me, Jenn, me. We keep confusing staff as we swap hats.

So, back to creating fast faces that fit in with Bewilderwood –

British Nature

i.e insects, plants and animals; this is my wee Finley atually allowing paint on for once.

Bww fin hand spider paint 

Lizard/ newt (of the salamander type colouring, in this case.) Fish from Mildred’s Scaaary Lake:

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Rainbow frog with yellow dots, as carefully dictated. I need to work on this one a bit!

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(must take some pics of the furry creatures I do – wolves and foxes mainly)!

Magical things: fairies – this is a fast flower fairy.

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This is my current take on what a Twiggle (our tree-fairy types) Princess would look like. Normal Twiggles I reckon are camouflaged with leafy eyes, as we always see their beautiful Bewilderwood tree houses, but never them themselves (a bit shy of huge humans). So Twiggle royalty would be non-blingy, using gold branches and flower blossoms to create a tiara.

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This is Emily, 1 of the Twiggle Story-tellers, as an autumn, non twirly Twiggle. I do many variations of this!

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Of COURSE, butterflies are a must – mainly I do a pastel rainbow version in Bewilderwoods colours as its fast and gorgeous and has just about every girls’ fave colour in it (i.e. pink), but very occasionally I’m asked/ allowed to do NON-PINK ones. Yay!

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I also love doing ‘related abstracts’ e’g’ Mildred’s Splooshes (will find a pic!)…

…. and less-realistic Flowery stuff-this is a sort of new iris/ lily idea-

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and finally, I do characters from the books that inspired the park.

This is Snagglefang, leader of the Bewilderbats. He / they used to very naughty but they are reformed characters and now even babysit… as does Mich in this pic who is my Finley’s god-mum:)

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